The self-storage industry is thriving, which is good news for all of us! Facilities are maintaining high occupancies and bumping up renal rates in the majority of markets. As a self-storage manager, you’re a huge part of this success. So, of course, you should be compensated accordingly.
Many managers receive a wage bump annually, either at the beginning of the year or on their employment anniversary date. Those are the lucky ones! An established salary increase requires little from you, except to keep doing good work. For others, though, getting a raise means you must ask for one. Before picking up the phone or shooting an e-mail to your boss, there are some steps you should take to improve your chances of receiving more dollars on your paycheck.
Time it right. They say timing is everything, and that’s certainly true when you’re asking someone for money. While your boss is likely under a mound of pressure all the time, there are days when the load is heavier than others. Take heed of what’s going on with the business and time your ask during an uptick.
Set an appointment. Whether you see the head honcho every day, once a month or rarely, it’s important to think of this moment like you would a job interview. It should be a set day and time, held in a private area with no distractions. Turn off your cell phone and give your boss your total attention.
Show your value. Sure, you know what you’ve accomplished as a stellar employee, but does your supervisor? While he might have some idea of your activities since your last raise (or hiring), he’s likely not tuned into the minutiae. Now’s the time to show and tell. What great things have you done? For example, have you lowered delinquencies by a substantial amount, successfully raised rental rates or managed a huge renovation or maintenance project? Have you taken on new tasks? How did you make a direct improvement to the business and its revenue?
It can be difficult to keep tabs on all the ah-mazing things you did over a year’s time, so consider writing everything down. A simple notebook will do, but you can also create a file that includes management reports or photos of projects.
Be clear about what you’re seeking. If you simply blurt, “I want a raise,” you’ll not only take your boss by surprise, but you might come off as aggressive. A better way to segue into the conversation is to say, “I’d like to discuss my salary. My last wage increase was XX. Since that time, I have …” Then talk about all the things discussed above. Offering a simple, typed page with bullets highlighting your accomplishments shows your supervisor that you’ve put effort into your ask. It also allows him to ruminate on them or refer to them later if he needs time to think about your request.
Also, it can be helpful to have a number or percentage in mind for your salary increase. You’ll need to strike a balance between what’s deserved and what’s fair. Asking for $10,000 more annually is probably unreasonable. But a request of 3 to 5 percent of your annual salary might be granted.
Have patience. Even if you got the timing right, showed why you’re an awesome employee, and clearly and respectfully presented your case, sometimes a raise might not happen right away. Your boss might need to confer with business partners or human-resource department, or simply needs time to think about it. Whatever the case, be patient and show gratitude. Tell him thank you for his time and that you look forward to hearing from him later on about the matter. And it’s perfectly OK to revisit the topic in a week or so via a call or e-mail. Bosses are busy, and while this request is weighing on your mind day and night, it might not be on his.
Deal with a no. If the answer to your raise request is no, ask what led to that decision. If it’s a performance issue, find out how you can improve. Perhaps you and your supervisor can set some goals that, once you reach them, you’ll receive the wage increase. If the business isn’t faring as well you think it is, find out if you can get a raise in a few months once things pick up. This is another great time to express how you can help the company prosper. If there’s no solid reason for the rejecting your request, it might be time to take your talents elsewhere!
If you’re paycheck has been stagnant for some time, now’s probably a good time to make the ask. It’s not an easy conversation to have, which is why many people never request a raise. To see how other operators have tackled it, check out this thread on Self-Storage Talk, the industry’s biggest online community.